How Israel’s History Is Impacting Current Events

The Israeli – Palestinian conflict is thought by many Americans simply as a fight over a strip of land the size of New Jersey. However, it is much more than that. The conflict is a continuing clash between Israelis and Palestinians that began in the mid-20th century. The origins of the conflict can be traced back to Jewish immigration and sectarian conflict in Mandatory Palestine between Jews and Arabs.

The displacement of millions of Jews during World War II caused the United Nations to establish the British colony of Palestine as a Jewish State. In November of 1947, the Palestinian territory was divided into Jewish and Arab states after the United Nations (UN)  passed Resolution 181. The Palestinian Arabs of the time refuted and did not accept the agreement because they felt it was too favorable toward the Jews and at expense to the Palestinians living in the region. This resulted in immediate fighting after the resolution was passed and caused Arab forces to attack Israeli territories. 

When Israel declared their independence a year later in 1948, the fighting greatly intensified and displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs. The fighting has pretty much been on and off since then. Israel, better funded and better equipped, has slowly been shrinking the Palestinian territory through settlement programs, which incentivize Israeli citizens to go settle in Palestinian territory, making it harder for Palestine to legitimize a claim on those areas.

Hamas is a terrorist organization that governs Gaza, a Palestinian territory, who’s goal of Hamas is to destroy Israel and replace it with a Palestinian state. Similar to other militant groups, Hamas gains power by creating anger and fear, especially within Palestinian communities to deepen the hate towards Israel. Hamas has launched countless rockets into Israel. The Israeli Iron Dome intercepts many of these rockets. To counter the rockets, Israel administers air raids into Palestinian territories which causes even more damage done.

In most current news in the month of February, Israel withheld $138 million in Palestinian funds in order to inhibit the Palestinian authority from giving payments to family members of Palestinians who have carried out attacks against Israelis. Israel has taken away the funds by claim that that the payments encourage violence – a claim Palestinians do not agree with.

With so much happening from both sides of the conflict, it is easy to say that the whole situation is not black and white and leave it at that. In reality, both the Israelis and Palestinians have reason to hate and have done bad things because of hate. But when looking at this situation, hateful acts are carried out by one side because the other side carried out just as hateful of an action against them. 

We can see in this current news example that Israel is negatively looking upon Palestine by withholding funds because of something that has happened against Israel in the Palestinian name. This alike to all of the examples of conflict since 1948 continues the pattern of perpetual hate. That being said, the Israeli – Palestinian conflict will not reach a resolution until the pattern is stopped.


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